Posted inArts & Culture

Le Livre Blanc/The White Book

Though filmmaker-dramatist-artist Jean Cocteau was one of the towering figures of 20th-century European culture, his quasi-autobiographical 1928 novella Le livre blanc was for years dismissed as pornographic trivia. Turns out this account of a homosexual’s coming-of-age in early-20th-century France is one of his most enduring works: its refreshing sexual candor makes it relevant, as does […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity

A precocious 12-year-old (Valerie Tian) schools herself in Taoist magic, hoping to solve the love and money problems of her emotionally bruised single mother (Sandra Oh), but her spells go awry, causing one neighbor to lose his job as a security guard and another to win the lottery. Set in Vancouver’s Chinatown, this charming ensemble […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Prince

The he’s-back hosannas that have greeted Musicology (NPG/Columbia), the 25th album of new material Prince has made available in record shops (still more are available online), seem out of proportion to the modest, skillful funk and pop it contains. It’s enough to say that the disc is his most straightforward and song-focused since 1996’s Chaos […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Gerhard Mantz

Though Gerhard Mantz’s ten computer-generated landscapes at Oskar Friedl have the texture of digital creations, their designs are atypically and admirably sparse. Taking 19th-century landscape painting as his primary model, Mantz produces works that suggest the changed nature of Romantic aspirations in the digital age: Caspar David Friedrich’s landscape paintings imbue his locales with magic; […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brother Ali

You might wonder why the latest release from Brother Ali is called Champion EP–at 39 minutes, it’s not much shorter than the new full-length by PJ Harvey. The designation makes some sense, though: rather than a fully realized follow-up to the Minneapolis MC’s superb Shadows on the Sun (Rhymesayers, 2003), this nine-track set reads more […]

Posted inMusic

!!!

I never wanted to like these guys, since they seemed so faux funky: songs that groove but don’t go anywhere, karayzee frat-boy antics, and slap bass galore. But then every DJ and his mom started spinning “Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story),” and I caved. Its wobbly disco beat builds […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Azita

Last year Azita Youseffi surprised me by saying she’d always thought of her music as something people could sing along with. True, there was a singsongy quality threading through the agitated screech of her first group, the Scissor Girls, and a semioperatic grandeur to her second band, the abrasive, shape-shifting Bride of No No. But […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I was talking with my Rush Limbaugh-quoting uncle and gay marriage came up. I told him that gay men and lesbians wanted nothing more than their human rights. I told him that telling part of the population that they can live as “partners” but not get married is separate and unequal. He responded by saying […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Le Livre Blanc/The White Book

LE LIVRE BLANC/THE WHITE BOOK, Journeymen Theater Company, at Gerber-Hart Library. Though filmmaker-dramatist-artist Jean Cocteau was one of the towering figures of 20th-century European culture, his quasi-autobiographical 1928 novella Le livre blanc was for years dismissed as pornographic trivia. Turns out this account of a homosexual’s coming-of-age in early-20th-century France is one of his most […]